Lostprophets - Ian Watkins

Ian Watkins

Last updated: 26 November 2013

Born: 30 July 1977
Role: vocals

The former frontman and vocalist for Lostprophets, Ian Watkins was arrested in 2012 for a string of sexual offences against children, to which he later pleaded guilty.

I had a blind confidence that I would be in a band one day.

Ian Watkins

At school in Pontypridd, Watkins was a good student, getting into music in his early teens with exposure to the likes of Faith No More and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

He was good friends with Mike Lewis. "We were in the same year at school and we hung out all the way through," he told Kerrang! magazine in 2006. A love of metal and rock bonded the two friends - and provided Watkins with a belief that one day he, too, would be in a band.

In his mid teens in 1991, he got that chance, when he and Mike got together a group they called Aftermath - trashy thrash metal played in a shed in Ian's garden. Two gigs were the sum total of live appearances in the two year lifespan of the band.

Now increasingly influenced by American hardcore punk bands, Ian and Lee Gaze formed Fleshbind. This was a much more serious proposition for drummer Ian and guitarist Lee.

They played shows, including one supporting Feeder in London, but the writing was on the wall: "It was all a bit out of hand," explained Watkins to Kerrang! "I remember being at our practice space in Cardiff thinking, 'This has gone a bit weird'. Then our singer left and I volunteered to sing but everyone wanted to keep me on drums, so me and Lee... decided to go and do our own thing.

"We wanted to go back to basics. So we started Lozt Prophetz."

The picture is somewhat confused when you learn that from 1995, Ian was also the drummer for local hardcore types Public Disturbance.

Lozt Prophetz made their live debut in May 1997 alongside PD, Ian taking the mic for the first time. Lozt Prophetz existed until 1999, when Watkins left Public Disturbance, to concentrate on the band that at first was a side project but by then was a genuine proposition.

A chance encounter with their future label boss, 18 months solid rehearsal and a name change to Lostprophets put Ian Watkins and his band members on the course towards the superstar status they later enjoyed.

In December 2012 Watkins was arrested and charged for a string of sexual offences. Although the singer initially "furiously denied" the allegations and vowed to fight to clear his name, in November 2013 he pleaded guilty to attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 but not guilty to rape.

This was accepted by the prosecution. Prosecuting barrister Chris Clee QC told the court: "He accepts he was a determined and committed paedophile."

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